After reading Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi’s report I must admit that I have this friend (cough) who maybe, possibly relied on “common sense” during her daily journalistic duties when it came to copyright and fair use. If she were asked to explicitly to apply fair use, she too would have been “unable to make a timely decision or justify it to a gatekeeper.”
From their study, Aufderheide and Jaszi found that journalists (well, the 80 they interviewed) “showed remarkably sound judgment on fair use decisions, on an intuitive basis”—which I believe stands for something considering the “lack of clarity around copyright and fair use,” which Rachel mentioned in her post.
Of course, it’s incredibly important that we’re all aware of how copyright, fair use, defamation, libel and privacy affect our professional lives. But is it so bad that journalists would rather not wade through the legalese surrounding copyright infringement, fair use, etc., and would rather follow their gut and “give credit whenever and wherever credit is due”? (Advice given to
me my friend by a former editor.)